Our Team

Most of you know Chris. Founder and CEO of Allies, he started this amazing mission in 2011, and continues to give vision and direction for its future. Something you may not know about Chris is he lived the summer of 1980 in the Grand Canyon (he was in a band!) and has hiked the Grand Canyon 5 TIMES!

Dr. Tatiana Baeva is the Director of International Operations and a Change Maker with Allies! She is our liaison between the US and Eastern Europe and continues to expand our connections in Eastern Europe and beyond. Dr. Baeva has a PhD in Russian and a Masters Degree in English. She taught Russian, Literature and other subjects for 18 years in universities of Russia and America, 10 of which were at UTA. Dr. Baeva created a summer abroad program for UTA and has taken students to Russia for several years, including trips with Allies. Dr. Baeva volunteered for six years editing the Russian literary and art magazine Leaves. Her hobbies include books, language / bilingualism, early children education and neurosciences. She loves to work on projects helping children and people in need.


Growing up in Huntsville, Alabama, Karen graduated from Madison Academy, after which, she received a BA and an MA in Communication from Abilene Christian University. Karen began her career in development at Abilene Christian University, followed by positions at Southwest Christian School, Christ’s Haven for Children, Fort Worth Christian School and Missions Resource Network. She has recently accepted the position of Donor Relations Director at Allies in Youth Development.

Karen and her husband, David, have 2 daughters and one grandson. With a heart for missions, they support many missionaries, foreign and domestic. They are active members of The Hills Church in North Richland Hills, Texas.


Coming to the aid of people in need is second nature to Margie Brooks. Before joining the team, Margie was involved with a number of non-profit organizations, including working as an Allies volunteer for 3 years. Originally from Mississippi, Margie moved to DFW in 2005 and enjoyed a fruitful, 20-year-long career with a major utility company. The last position she held was as a company’s Senior Revenue Analyst.

Last October, Margie went on her first trip to Russia, and towards the end of 2017, accepted the post of Volunteer Coordinator. She loves working alongside other volunteers who have a heart for Allies, and is excited to keep living life of love and service to others, just as Christ taught us.



Carla is our Trip Coordinator and a Change Maker at Allies! She was born and raised in Japan to missionary parents and has worked at American Airlines for 25 years as a travel expert. Carla is studying Russian and hopes to work with our volunteers even more closely. Carla has a heart for helping people, and takes the opportunity to do so whenever she can through her church and work.

Nadezha lives in Chisinau, Moldova and works with the university student leaders, as well as the children in orphanages. She has worked with orphanages for the past 9 years and her desire is to support them and show them that they are loved, first and foremost, by God, but also by many other people who want to help them.


Nick Williams assists in the execution of marketing initiatives and provides website development and web-related services. Nick graduated from Abilene Christian University with a Bachelor of Arts and dual major in Advertising and Graphic Design, after an initial interest in Computer Science. Nick and his wife, Rebecca, have been on short-term mission trips to Honduras, Philippines, Germany, Hungary and others. Nick and Rebecca also served as house parents for a children's home in Keller. Nick lives in the Fort Worth area with his wife, three sons, and two mixed lab dogs.

Born and raised in Krasnodar, Russia, Galya grew up believing in God, but did not know how to have a personal relationship with Jesus. It wasn’t until the fall of the Soviet regime that her family was able to practice their Christian faith openly, and Galya finally found ways to have more meaningful encounters with the Lord. Since then, she has dedicated her life to serving the youth in Christ’s name—from teaching in Sunday school and co-organizing a Christian girls club, to spending eight years working alongside a local orphanage, which she considered her “second home.” She is also the leader of the single moms program in Krasnodar. Galya worked with Entrust until 2008, as part of the Women’s Leadership Training Team, translating and teaching at regional and local training centers across Russia. Now Galya's focus is on her family and Allies. Her desire is to help people know who God really is, discover His heart, and study His word.


Zhenya (Douglas) Waybourn was born in Russia in 1991 and grew up in an orphanage until he was 14. He was then adopted by a family in Arlington, Texas along with his two brothers. After completing college, he worked for Alcon, an eye care pharmaceutical company, for 8 years.

Douglas’ passion is photography and serving the orphans. In 2014 Douglas met Micheal Henshaw, a frequent traveler with Allies, who shared about Allies’ mission and his love for orphans. Intrigued, Douglas was eager to get involved. Taking his first trip to Russia in 2015 with the group, he saw still how big the needs of orphans are there.

After taking six trips with Allies, Douglas decided to move there and now resides at Orion orphan village in Russia, two hour drive south of Moscow. He serves the community there by teaching English at their school and helping the children.

One year during the Super Bowl hosted in Arlington, Texas Simmie learned of the number of children trafficked at these events. Simmie was greatly impacted to learn this could happen right here within her own community, and she wanted to get involved to prevent this horiffic future for children, both in her community and around the world. In 2017, Simmie began to partner with Allies in Youth Development on smaller projects and began to see how they are working to empower and educating children to make wise and informed choices, to have hope, and to have a future that would never include being sold and abused. She knew she wanted to be involved on a deeper level and served as the Community Outreach Director in 2018. Simmie still serves as a guest speaker, working to spread Allies' message of hope and freedom.

Simmie lives in Arlington with her husband, Ashton and their two girls. As a mom, Simmie hopes to help orphans know what it is to feel loved and cared for, and her family works together to make this happen.



Frederick Tran started as a volunteer for Allies at first for the extra credit in Dr. Baeva’s Russian class. He continued after the academic semester was over because he felt compelled by the stories Chris and Dr. Baeva told of the orphans’ plight abroad. In fall of 2017, he interned with Allies as their volunteer coordinator and took his first trip with Allies to Eastern Europe.

Frederick graduated from UTA that semester with his bachelor’s degree from Critical Languages and International Studies with a focus in Russian and a minor in creative writing. He was so moved by the work he saw happening on the ground in Eastern Europe that he went to Vietnam for four months after graduating and scouted for potential areas that Allies could start working with to empower the orphans there. He is very happy to serve on staff as Allies’ Vietnam Coordinator.


You want to help orphans and so do our staff members. Debbie Neal recently joined Allies as Volunteer Coordinator Assistant and has been passionate about volunteerism and missions since she was a young adult. She and her husband, Bob, have taken countless mission trips both at home and abroad and have been members of Rush Creek Church for more than 20 years. Most recently, they opened their home to two Russian students during the first Omsk Student Cultural Exchange Program hosted by Allies last spring.

Debbie and Bob live in Mansfield, Texas and have five children and nine grandchildren. Debbie is excited to join you in empowering orphans! You can reach Debbie with questions about volunteering at debbie@alliesyouth.org.



You are a piece of the puzzle to make a difference in the lives of orphans along with others who join the Allies team like Communications Consultant Travis Modrall. He graduated with a B.A. from Middle Tennessee State University and is currently finishing his Master of Divinity at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has served in the ministry for the last eight years, most recently as pastor of Walnut Ridge Baptist Church West Campus in Mansfield, Texas.

Travis became interested in Allies at the first banquet where, like you, he was touched by the testimonies of children and saw the need Allies met in their lives because of your support. He and his wife, Amy, have lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for the last 24 years. They are raising three children and two dogs. You can contact Travis at travis@alliesyouth.org.